Kim Boerman in Charleston, S.C., has pulled hard elf duty with her 12-year-old daughter. There was the time it barely escaped their German shepherd, Myka, and another time it fell from the chandelier during dinner as it hung upside down.
She procured a doctor's prescription that states: "To Elf, address North Pole. Doctors orders: Take it easy, don't move around a lot ... rest!" Boerman and her husband even threw in a head bandage for the little guy before planting him under their Christmas tree with a toy ambulance for the duration.
Kerby said she had tons on her holiday to-do list before adding the elf, but mishaps aside, "it's quite fun for our little girl and a nice tradition."
The Elf on the Shelf — you get to name it — was born in 2005 as a self-published labor of love from Carol Aebersold and daughters Chanda Bell and Christa Pitts, co-founders of Creatively Classic Activities and Books. The company is dedicated to promoting and distributing the storybook and elf, recently launching its first sequel, a birthday elf and book. A dollar for every birthday kit sold goes to a charity working to provide clean drinking water in more than 20 countries.
"Every year we continue to be amazed and blessed with the fan response," Aebersold said in a statement, put out after their creation recently claimed the No. 1 spot on USA Today's best-seller list for the first time.
Other companies have gotten in on the game, including the makers of "Maccabee on the Mantel," which includes a snuggly plush soldier for Hanukkah. And Aebersold's company now offers games, a movie, elf couture, an elf registry online and elf adoptions in select locations around the country.
Meaghan B. Murphy isn't ho-ho-hoing. As deputy editor of SELF magazine, the busy and tired mom of three kids — ages 3, 20 months and 4 months — is on elf duty with her husband.